The #1 question I’m always asked in more than 300 strategy sessions that I conduct every year is: “How do I structure a campaign that makes sense and keeps me moving forward?”
This question is key whether you are in transition or have a current job!
In my opinion, most coaches do not have a system or structure to follow. They use old techniques and old strategies because of one fundamental reason. The vast majority of coaches have NOT been trained or have worked in marketing a product or service.
Most coaches – whether executive-level or not – come from human resources, counseling, recruiting, journalism or social services. Some even come from the medical community! A few have sales backgrounds but selling a product is not marketing a company, service or product.
Marketing includes the building, attracting, nurturing, and interest creating phases of a product or service. My definition is “…finding strangers and turning them into interested parties” and it is 80% of the game! It includes many things but it is most important in building a long-term pipeline of contacts, with associated opportunities, that keeps your executive-level career healthy.
I like to think of marketing as the engine that keeps your network interested and continues to build new contacts over time. The quantity and quality of your engaged network is the “stock” on your career balance sheet that you leverage to gain income. Low stock; low income opportunities.
Therefore, any coaching program that you follow MUST build your career stock in a meaningful way while creating a return-on-investment. Unfortunately, most executive coaches have no idea how to measure return-on-investment let alone build anything that is repeatable and measurable.
When looking for a coach, make sure that you ask these questions:
- What kind of structure do you use?
- How do you measure results?
- What long-term payoff will I receive if I follow your advice?
- How can I know that I’m on the right track?
Without these answers, you are getting activity-based advice not strategic-focused career building.
In business today, when we launch a business or product, we use a project-based approach with outcomes clearly identified in each step in the process, use best practices as a guide for creating our own unique measurements (and then build upon them), and keep calibrating our results to these measurement.
That’s how you can control what seems uncontrollable – building a career in a crazy, chaotic economy!